This is the seventh in a weekly series of stories highlighting interesting facts about cities in Utah County.
Eagle Mountain has a shorter history than many other Utah County cities, but its short history has interesting facts. Did you know these interesting 10 facts about the Utah County city?
-- Stacy Johnson, Daily Herald
Eagle Mountain is the fourth-fastest growing city in Utah County.
Eagle Mountain has 29,202 residents, according to 2016 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. That number is up 33.2 percent since 2010, making the city the fourth-fastest growing in Utah County.
It is the largest city in Utah County by land size
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Eagle Mountain covers 44.46 square miles of land, making it the largest city in Utah County by land size. That gives the city a population of 481.6 per square mile, one of the lowest population densities in Utah County.
It is not the newest city in Utah County
Eagle Mountain was incorporated on Dec. 3, 1996, making the city 21 years old, but it is not the newest city in Utah County. Saratoga Springs, Cedar Hills, Woodland Hills and Fairfield were all incorporated after Eagle Mountain.
There is a high number of people per household in Eagle Mountain
There may not be a large number of people per square mile in Eagle Mountain, but there are quite a few people per household. Eagle Mountain averages 4.24 people per household, giving the city the third-highest number of people per household of any city in Utah County. Eagle Mountain falls behind Highland and Saratoga Springs.
The Pony Express Trail passed through Eagle Mountain
You probably could have guessed, but the original Pony Express Trail traveled through what is now the city of Eagle Mountain. According to the National Parks Service, Eagle Mountain has pedestrian, biking and equestrian trails along the original alignment of the Pony Express Trail.
The Pony Express plays a large role in the city’s history and provides a theme for its annual summer celebration, Pony Express Days.
In 21 years, the city has had 13 mayors
Eagle Mountain has had many mayoral issues in its short history, and has gone through 13 mayors in 21 years. In the city’s first decade of incorporation, there were nine mayors. One mayor, Kelvin Bailey, faked his own kidnapping because of the pressures of the job. Another, Brian Olsen, was found not guilty of charges that he defrauded the city. The city later paid him more than $100,000 for court costs incurred while defending himself against charges.
Only one mayor, Heather Jackson, filled a full four-year term before mayor Christopher Pengra defeated her in her re-election bid.
The current mayor, Tom Westmoreland, has been serving since January, after the resignation in August of previous mayor, Pengra, and the service of interim mayor John Painter.
The city has a high percentage of children
Eagle Mountain has a high population of children in the city. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18.2 percent of the city’s residents are under the age of five, the highest percentage of any Utah County city. The city has 48.2 percent of its population under the age of 18, also the highest percentage of any Utah County city.
The city has nearly 40 parks.
Eagle Mountain is home to four regional parks and about 35 neighborhood parks, according to Eagle Mountain City. The parks include amenities like amphitheaters, basketball courts, pavilions, baseball diamonds and a splash pad, among other features.
Eagle Mountain has welcomed home an Olympic medalist and a Paralympic medalist
Noelle Pikus-Pace was born in Provo but lives and has lived in Eagle Mountain. At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Pikus-Pace won silver in the skeleton event, and came home to Eagle Mountain not only as one of their own, but also as an Olympian.
David Blair lived in Eagle Mountain when he won a gold medal in the 2016 Paralympics in the discus event. Born with a clubfoot, David Blair was told by doctors that he would never be able to function normally as a child due to the severity of the deformity. He won a high school championship against able-bodied athletes in the discus throw, and after 16 years away from the sport, he learned that he was Paralympic-eligible. He was given a heroes welcome when he returned to Eagle Mountain.
Eagle Mountain has areas where you can see ancient petroglyphs
In 2006, petroglyphs as old as 10,000 years old were discovered in Eagle Mountain when the area was under development. The petroglyphs were dated anywhere between 6000 B.C. and 1300 A.D. The petroglyphs contain geometric designs, squiggly lines and other symbols of communication that date back thousands of years ago.
The city is currently working with one developer to preserve known petroglyphs in a housing development. Every land development in the city is required to have a certain amount of “green space,” and Eagle Mountain and the developer worked to make sure the petroglyphs are part of that green space, which will eventually be turned over to the city as a park.